GOP Bosses Tap Ozinga for Illinois Ballot Spot

Posted April 30, 2008 at 11:33am

Local GOP bosses picked Chicago concrete magnate Martin Ozinga (R) Wednesday morning as the November ballot replacement in Rep. Jerry Weller’s (R) central Illinois district, according to Ozinga’s campaign.

For months the Republican chairmen for the eight counties represented by the 11th district have searched for a credible replacement to New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann.

Baldermann won a tough Super Tuesday primary to replace Weller, but he quickly dropped out of the contest, leaving GOP officials to choose his replacement.

Regional pizza chain owner Harry Bond also was a shortlisted candidate for the Republican ballot spot.

Ozinga also announced Tuesday that his campaign has raised more than $400,000 for the race in less than a month. He will now face state Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson (D) in the fall.

Halvorson had $673,023 in the bank on April 1.

— Matthew Murray